Wheelock Elementary School celebrated its third annual Evening of the Arts on June 7th with a retelling of the children’s classic, “The Rainbow Fish,” by Marcus Pfister.
Principal Donna Olson opened the evening by remarking that “This collaboration between art and music, with the support of all of our classroom teachers and specialists, shows our love and support for engaging with the arts with our youngest students. We all love the book ‘The Rainbow Fish’ and this evening should be a treat for all.”
In keeping with the ocean theme, the school hallways were decorated with sea sculptures created by Wheelock students under the guidance of art teacher Ms. Tracey Babin. Wheelock students’ art work was proudly and beautifully displayed in the gym, along with interactive art activities designed to engage visitors to the gallery in some community art-making.
Student engagement and autonomy is a key element to the success of the Evening of the Arts. “Students have been involved in the artistic process from the very beginning,” music teacher Eithne Stover explained. “Our inspiration was the book ‘The Rainbow Fish.’ We started months ago by considering questions such as ‘what do you think an octopus sounds like? How might we represent that in sound? What do you think the ocean might sound like?’ The production is built on student ideas by layering them one on top of the other, with lots of student choices about how to organize the music in an expressive and artistic way.”
Sound and Lighting engineer Mr. Chris Allan delighted children and parents alike by bringing an additional element of artistry that enabled the students to truly shine. The combination of student musical and artistic ideas with the narration of the story by third grade teacher, Mr. Jim Kuehl, resulted in an evening that was truly magical and memorable.